Gary Stephenson, Director of the Center for Small Farms & Food Systems, Oregon State University Extension Center
Nellie McAdams, Oregon Agricultural Land Trust
In “The Uncertain Future of Oregon’s Agricultural lands and the Role of Planners,” an article that appeared on the American Planning Association Oregon Chapter website on April 18, 2017, the author
Indicates that approximately 10.45 million acres of farm and ranch land is expected to change hands in the next 20 years. Such a significant turnover of land could provide an opportunity to promote more sustainable agricultural practices and access to a new generation of farmers. However, there are significant barriers to realizing that opportunity. Many existing farmers are unprepared for succession; the number of multi-generational farm families is declining; prices are rising; non-agricultural land uses are encroaching; and land ownership is consolidating in the hands of the few. The guest speakers will discuss the challenges facing small farms and suggest strategies for overcoming them.
Garry Stephenson is Director of the Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems, an alternative farming program at Oregon State University that is striving to change the world through small scale organic/sustainable agriculture and local/regional food systems. He has over 30 years of experience collaborating with small and mid-size farmers on educational programs and applied research.
Nellie McAdams is a fifth generation Oregonian. She grew up on her family’s hazelnut farm in Gaston. Nellie, an attorney licensed in Oregon, founded and directed Rogue Farm Corps’ Farm Preservation Program, which works to improve farmland affordability, farm succession, and permanent farmland protection in Oregon. Over the last year and a half, Nellie has worked in collaboration with dozens of organizations and individual stakeholders to establish a new, statewide agricultural land trust that she is now managing.